On the Prowl for the Truth




Teacher Profile: Ms. Allen

Teacher Profile: Ms. Allen
  • Teacher Name: Ms. Allen 

  • Teacher subject: History (Intro to AP World, Virginia History, US History)

  • Number of years teaching: 7 classroom years, 2 year SPED assistant, 9 years at LCPS


Q: What made you want to switch careers from a publisher and manager to a teacher?

Story continues below advertisement

A: So, truth be told, I always wanted to be a teacher when I was a kid, and my sister had become a teacher when I was young. And so in my 20’s, I wanted to go ahead and take classes and start being a teacher, but I realized it wasn’t the right time for me. And then I got to the point where when I was self employed, I was working odd hours, so I started volunteering my time in schools, and that made me really realize that this was something that I did want to pursue at some point. So I waited until the timing was right for me, but I always wanted to give back to my community in some way and I felt the best way that I could give back to my community as a second career was teaching. So that’s kind of what drove me and so what I started to do was sub more. And then once I started to serve more, I realized I needed to go get an assistant teaching position to see if I actually would like being in it in the school. And I realized I did so that’s why I went ahead and pursued another degree.


Q: What are some reasons why you sponsor Indy’s Girl Up?

A: When I got here, they asked me to start the national English Honor Society club. So I started that, and that was a lot of like, kind of administrative work. And I had several students approach me over that year. “Can you sponsor this other club? Can you sponsor this club?” And I was like, no, I really can’t. Then COVID hit and I had two students who I loved a lot who were home during COVID, and they reached out to me that summer and they said, “We would like to really start a club where we empower girls and women in our communities,” and that spoke to me because I like to give back to society and I like people who want to also give back to society. So I want people to help other people in the community. Once I was asked about a club where we were actually going to do outreach into the community, I was all on board because that made a difference and an impact locally and that is what I believe is kind of our civic duty to do as well as the right thing to do.


Q: What are some aspects of the club that you like the most? 

A: So one of the clubs that I like is that I feel like even though there are clubs that are centered around for just girls, maybe that’s a sports team, or maybe that’s, you know, a social club, where girls could go and at least you know, talk and do things and become friends and have like a social network. I do feel that it’s important for girls to realize that there are a lot of women who came before them, who have really I don’t want to say fought the good fight, but basically fought the good fight to have equal opportunities for women, and then being able to educate other people. That is important. And so our club will actually do outreach such as one year we got a college panel of women who were in different fields, who were in various stages of college, but different colleges. It was on Zoom, but the girls could hear about different majors that were open to them different opportunities that maybe they had never thought about before. And then we arranged for Buta Biberaj, who is our Commonwealth attorney. She’s the first female attorney and the first attorney of a Muslim faith. And so having that diversity speaks to our club. So again, trying to empower girls to see that they could, they could branch out into different fields was really important. And then in addition to that, we do a service project or two every year and one of our biggest service projects is to give wrapped presents to women and children in a shelter and I think that that’s a really powerful thing to do.


Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to students to help them become more successful?

A: I would say that I see trends, especially at Independence because it’s a particularly affluent community. And I see kids afraid to take classes that might cause their grade to slip a little bit. And so one of the things that I think is most important about expanding your learning is to take enough chances where you might fail, you might actually not get that grade that you were hoping for, but you learned something about yourself. So my biggest advice would be to take a challenging course, even if it’s not going to be a straight A course for you.


More to Discover
About the Contributor
Abby Kim, junior staff writer
Bio coming soon